by Mrs Sarah Foley-Smith

PIA Update

I love my job! The PIA year has continued to be epic with lots of action over the last few weeks. The classes are pretty happy to have finished rouging and with delivery of our back roads, soft shells & hoodies imminent it was worth the pain.

Level1 have just had their big Christchurch adventure. Covid meant that we had some last-minute itinerary changes, but fortunately emergency ring ins proved to be successful with the added advantage of the class meeting the rest of the Foley family. We kicked off the day visiting Sally Houston’s Four Peaks leather workshop to see how on farm practices can affect the usability of pelts and the process of turning calves into booties. Next up was the bootie nursery in the form of Gould’s big indoor dairy barn and calf shed. So cool to see robots in action and to learn about the indoor system. High lights included making friends with calves, seeing the feed robots, and shed cleaner and helping the Gould’s psychotic dog hunt for rocks!

Next up was Apparel Master dry cleaning factory which processes linen, gumboots, overalls, and mats from all the big hotels, workshops, food processing plants and isolation hotels. How so many items can be sorted, washed, and repacked was pretty cool to watch. The realisation that the washing machines can hold 180Kg per load led to the class working out that Mrs. FS would only have to do a few loads a year, there was further excitement on discovering that this would mean extending her current wardrobe. Class briefly sidetracked planning extensions to the Foley Smith household until the easier solution of moving the children out to free up space was decided to be a more desirable option.

A spare half hour saw the team do a lap around Halswell Quarry before heading to PGG Wrightson’s research centre. Great excitement on spying the staff golf course and rugby field which sports the Edan Park goal posts. Our all Blacks\Silver Ferns in the making were quick off the mark to demonstrate their superior(ish) skills. Back to reality and the group moved on to see Hemp, drones in action, maize, and sports turf development- most of the southern hemisphere sports arenas have turf developed here in New Zealand. Our return to school saw messages from our various hosts thanking us for having such awesome students. All in all, not a bad day at the office.

The classes have also complete laying bark chip at the Roger Mahan Heritage museum which will go down in the books as the best fund raiser ever. A couple of hours work followed by a BBQ, and driving diggers, loaders, and the dump truck. The group were again collectively amazed at Mrs FS’s superior kills particularly in the dump truck and being able to prove that we can get from A to B without doing a U turn.

Level 1 have also completed their Farm bikes training days and are turning their attention to planning the Mackenzie Show Country Kids event. Level 2 have started their tractors, had work safe and Roger Johnson in as guest speakers, visited the High Street Stitch & Print division of Lynn River to see our class uniform being printed. Planning is well under way for the next big adventure during the holidays with Level2 spending 6 days in Blenheim & Nelson.

Happy times.